QUESTIONING A recent order by the National Green Tribunal that a builder cannot show a podium in a building as a recreational ground, city’s builders have sought clarification from the state government.
Passing an order pertaining to a Bandra housing project by Kalpataru Properties Pvt Ltd, the NGT said, “The area has not only to be open to the sky but must also enable the planting of trees. If the PP fails to provide recreational ground (RG) as per norms, the project may not be allowed to proceed and till compliance, no third party rights may be created.”
The order has been questioned by builders as many housing societies have their recreational grounds at podium level. “A recent NGT order has rejected the podium as RG in a real estate project. Therefore, the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) has asked for clarification on behalf of all developers. Moreover, it has been suggested that this order should not be applicable on new projects,” said Sandeep Runwal, the developer of Runwal group, also the state president of NAREDCO.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the revised Development Control and Promotion Regulations (DCPR) 2034 for Mumbai allows podiums on recreational grounds. So the said order is in contravention of the provision, he said.
City developers stressed that in the city, most of the real estate projects are on brownfield. It is difficult to provide amenities like parking and green space on a small piece of land. Besides, the said NGT order will impact largely the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority and Slum Rehabilitation Authority redevelopment projects with a high footprint.
Meanwhile, citizens and environmentalists alike welcomed the order. Subhajit Mukherjee, founder of Mission Green Mumbai, a non-profit organisation, said, “Podium cannot be called RG. Growing trees on podiums is dangerous for the structure. Several cases of trees damaging podiums have come to light. Only artificial trees can be kept on podiums but many of them have been blacklisted.”